Friday, October 27, 2017

The radical nonconservative ideology driving the reckless, irresponsible tax cuts

This morning NPR aired a rerun of a Here & Now program on the great Kansas experiment. This one is well worth hearing given the national push to pass a tax cut that would benefit the wealthy while addling trillions to the national debt. Here’s a really short summary and a link to the interview with a Republican state lawmaker who voted to stop the fiscal hemorrhaging instituted by Gov. Sam Brownback.

The selling point was “explosive growth.” Nothing even close to such growth happened - quite the opposite.

When Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback passed massive tax cuts in 2012, the hope was to accelerate the state’s languid economy. A year later, growth slowed and the state deficit shot up.

Kansas GOP lawmaker Melissa Rooker (@MelissaRooker) helped lead the rollback of the tax plan in 2016, calling it “reckless fiscal management.” Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Rooker about that effort and lessons learned from the Kansas tax experiment.

BTW: Rooker is being attacked by the Koch’s war wagon, Americans for Prosperity a year in advance of the onset of the next election cycle.

Listen to the MPR audio here. Kansas Republican Says ‘Reckless’ State Tax Cuts Offer Warning For U.S.

Not knowing about, or not caring about, the failed Kansas experiment, our government is fixing to inflict the same kind of fiscal damage on itself - itself meaning us, we the people.

The NY Times yesterday reported that the House Passes Budget Blueprint, Clearing Path for Tax Overhaul. Basically the Republicans, led by Trump, want to do to the nation what Kansas did to itself.

WASHINGTON — The House on Thursday sounded the starting gun on legislative efforts to cut taxes by as much as $1.5 trillion over the coming decade, narrowly clearing a budget blueprint that will allow a tax bill to pass Congress without any Democratic votes.

But the 216–212 vote hinted at how difficult actually legislating a tax overhaul could be. The budget measure cleared Congress over the loud protests of House members from high-tax states like New York, New Jersey and California, who worry that the blueprint will doom the current deduction for state and local taxes — a deduction of great importance to taxpayers in their states.

Twenty Republicans voted against it, 11 of them from New York and New Jersey.

You will be surprised to learn that our CD2 Rep. Martha McSally was not among those 20 voting “no.” See the FiveThirtyEight voting record for McSally’s votes and the bill at congress.gov.

The budget measure would allow for a tax bill that adds as much as $1.5 trillion to federal deficits over a decade, at a time when the federal government is already piling up more and more debt, which has now topped $20 trillion. …

The blueprint, as unveiled, would cost the Treasury more than $2 trillion over a decade, according to estimates by tax-writing experts. …

The budget measure contains parliamentary language that will shield a tax bill from a Democratic filibuster in the Senate, allowing it to pass with the approval of only 50 senators in a chamber where Republicans hold 52 seats. It also could pave the way for lawmakers to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil and gas drilling.

Representative John Yarmuth of Kentucky, the senior Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said the budget measure was “not a real effort at responsible budgeting.”

“It is a means to an end,” Mr. Yarmuth said, “a single-minded plan to make it easier to enact tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations regardless of the consequences for everyone else.”

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